Thursday, April 7, 2016

additional thoughts

As an addendum to the last couple of posts, i have a few wrap-up thoughts....

To begin, i forgot to mention a point yesterday, which seemed quite significant to me when i first read it -- the question of homeostasis and plateaus.

The problem of plateauing when one has been losing weight is a PERENNIAL problem.  It happens with every diet, but is at its most monstrous under the eat-less-exercise-more paradigm, as i discovered in my CICO past.  You slow down or completely stop losing weight because your body has reduced metabolism to match intake -- countless studies as well as n=1 experiences have convinced even the CICOpaths.  So what do THEY say to do?  Eat even less and exercise even more -- hell on earth!  When this happens in low-carb weight-loss regimens, gurus usually say to cut carbs to bare minimum (sometimes zero), reduce protein to what i consider dangerously-low levels, and eat more fat.  Intermittent-fasting enthusiasts say, narrow your eating-window or extend your fasting periods, depending on what kind of pattern you prefer to use.

Now, for quite awhile i've noticed that "shaking things up" helps when weight-loss stalls.  I will go for a day (or just a single meal) of upping one of the macronutrients, then after the pig-out, fast 24 hours and resume "normality."  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but it frequently gives an energy- or a mood-boost.  If the feast happened to have been carb-heavy, carb apologists would take that as evidence that i should be eating more of them but that's not a reasonable conclusion -- as a matter of fact, continuation of the pattern with ANY macronutrient would be a mistake, and i think this is where ALL the gurus are mistaken.

Eating huge amounts of fat ALL THE TIME doesn't give our bodies the opportunity to tap body-fat for fuel.  Eating lots of carbs all the time is even worse if one doesn't spend one's non-working hours exercising.  Eating very large portions of protein tends to be self-limiting.

Fung's conclusions parallel my own -- that establishing a low baseline of insulin and sugar, but varying the postprandial peak size is a good thing.  Our bodies never "get comfortable" at a particular intake or outgo, so the homeostatic plateau is less likely, and the occasional pig-out is shown clinically to not be counterproductive.  I need to give a try to a different pattern of IF, one which has never sounded very appealing to me -- the 5-normal-2-lowcal regimen.  Thanks, Doc, seems like sound advice!

Then we come to a subject on which i'm not in particular agreement....  Dr. Fung states that one cannot ease stress "by doing nothing," when it comes to hacking sleep and cortisol.  I spoke about stress not too long ago, and this is a subject on which i have more nebulous opinions.  Fung's recommendations on stress-relief are the usual -- exercise, social connectivity, meditation, religion, massage, sleep....

I suspect that some people's stress CAN be significantly relieved by "doing nothing" ... especially when they ordinarily do way too much.  Yeah, that's probably not what he meant, but i am averse to telling people not to do nothing -- double-negative used on purpose, here!

It seems to me that our stress-relievers are going to be as individual as our stress-creators.  Perhaps i'll give special attention to the subject during our vacation WHICH STARTS SUNDAY!!!  :-D  We're both elated by the prospect of some care-free weeks, and visiting a part of the world we've never seen before.  We think we have our asses covered when it comes to home-worries, and since MY stress comes from my husband's worries, that's a big load off my shoulders.


  1. Your thoughts
    Fresh fruit associated with lower risk of heart attack and stroke
    Study of 500,000 Chinese adults confirms benefits of eating fruit

    Fruit is a rich source of potassium, dietary fibre, antioxidants, and various other potentially active compounds, and contains little sodium or fat and relatively few calories. The study found that fruit consumption (which was mainly apples or oranges) was strongly associated with many other factors, such as education, lower blood pressure, lower blood glucose, and not smoking. But, after allowing for what was known of these and other factors, a 100g portion of fruit per day was associated with about one-third less cardiovascular mortality and the association was similar across different study areas and in both men and women.

    Study author Dr Huaidong Du, University of Oxford, UK, said "The association between fruit consumption and cardiovascular risk seems to be stronger in China, where many still eat little fruit, than in high-income countries where daily consumption of fruit is more common." Also, fruit in China is almost exclusively consumed raw, whereas much of the fruit in high-income countries is processed, and many previous studies combined fresh and processed fruit.
    Fresh Fruit Consumption and Major Cardiovascular Disease in China

    Among Chinese adults, a higher level of fruit consumption was associated with lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels and, largely independent of these and other dietary and nondietary factors, with significantly lower risks of major cardiovascular diseases.

    1. ??? I don't get the connection to this post...

  2. Due to my personal experience I strongly suspect that the weight-loss stall is the result of thyroid hormone flactuations.

    1. That's definitely part of the metabolic slowdown, if people are under-eating too much, or dealing with unusual stress! So many things cause the body to fail to convert T4 into active T3....

  3. Always good to read your thoughts Tess, thank you for sharing them.
    Wishing you a great vacation ...

    All the best Jan (and Eddie)

    1. Thank you, Jan! :-) Best regards to you and Eddie!

  4. The plan that I was on long ago (Body for Life) included a day a week where you ate whatever you wanted. I did lose weight on the plan.

    Traditional diet enthusiasts should remember that those diets included not only fasts, but feasts.

    1. That's right! Without the "feast" aspect, it's just another starvation diet!